We all recognize an entrepreneur from day one. Ivan Almonte is one of them; the difference is that he is not an entrepreneur of a local business but a cultural entrepreneur and mental health ambassador for the Latino community.
Ivan is one of our new Latino Community Mental Health Workers dedicated to bringing emotional well-being outside of the offices, connecting with the community, and helping to find solutions that bring healing and hope to everyone. When El Futuro contacted Iván, he saw the opportunity to work on what he is most passionate about, “For me, it is an opportunity to make a difference, work together and impact the community.”
Ivan was born in a small rural town in Michoacán, Mexico. From a very young age, he became passionate about helping his community and preserving Latino culture through traditions. He started his first youth group at the age of 15 and today is respected in the community for being an example of perseverance and constant support for all who know him. He says, “I don’t want to think about what I want and need but about what others want and need. I like to listen to people, learn about their challenges, and help them.”
After many years in his new home here in the US, he remembers very well that feeling of distance and coldness when he first moved to this country. Here, he could find new opportunities but also a different environment that made him feel like he “didn’t belong.” Today, we know that many of the Latino families we serve feel the same, perhaps in difficult economic situations, children having difficulties in school, causing feelings of depression and anxiety. That feeling led Ivan to do something productive for his people, listen, and help with his resources without any economic interest.
“After 10 years, I saw a woman and her family here in El Futuro. I had the opportunity to help them adapt better when they first arrived and look for resources to nurture the Latino culture and feel that sense of belonging they had lost. I was happy very much to see her again, well, happy and with new opportunities.”
We are grateful that Iván is one of the mental health ambassador members in El Futuro and like him, we have 60 more people committed to continuing to work for the well-being of Latinos.
Are you inspired to be an Ivan for your community?
“If we were all aware that we have a different history, we could have an ideal world where we all help each other”